• Kyodo


Japan’s run as a core team in rugby sevens’ elite world tour came to an abrupt end on Sunday, when the team was relegated for next season.

Playing in the series as a core team for the first time in two years, Japan’s 52-7 loss to England in the Paris Sevens’ challenge trophy quarterfinals bounced next year’s Olympic hosts from next year’s competition.

This year’s series served as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The top four teams — Fiji, the United States, New Zealand and South Africa — have ensured their spots next summer in Tokyo.

Only the 15 core teams are guaranteed a place in all 10 stops on the elite sevens circuit, meaning it will be harder for Japan to face elite competition in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.

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